Topics: News, Press

Grocery Workers Eager for Implementation of New Guidelines to Keep Frontline Workers and Customers Safe

Sacramento, CA – UFCW Western States Council released the following statements after the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issued guidance for California grocery and retail stores and the agricultural industry to keep customers and workers safe from COVID-19 infections, including best hygiene practices, social distancing guidelines, employee training and procedures for when an employee becomes infected:

“The 200,000 members of UFCW Western States Council are going to work every day because we know we are needed now more than ever to keep Californians healthy and fed,” said Andrea Zinder, president, UFCW Western States Council and UFCW Local 324. “We appreciate that Cal/OSHA has recognized the unique role grocery and retail store workers have on the frontlines of this crisis and the risk we face from constant exposure to the public. We are eager to see these standards implemented statewide to minimize the risk we and our families face, and to slow the virus’ spread in our communities. We believe these guidelines will help keep both workers and customers healthy to prevent the virus from spreading and ensure illness doesn’t overwhelm our healthcare system’s capacity and we expect all grocery employers to immediately update their illness and injury protection programs to take into account these COVID-19 guidelines.”

“Retail grocery and drug store workers have unexpectedly found themselves at the forefront of the crisis, yet stores have not provided sufficient health or safety protections for workers or the public,” said John Grant, president, UFCW Local 770. “These guidelines, along with local ordinances like the one passed in Los Angeles yesterday, will require stores to protect essential workers who put their lives on the line to keep Californians fed.”

“Workers in our state are the first step to getting food on Californians’ tables and we applaud Cal/OSHA for releasing this importance guidance to keep these workers and our food supply safe,” said Jacques Loveall, president, UFCW Local 8-Golden State. “We are heartened to see these guidelines take into account their unique workplaces and aim to protect our workers who cannot work from home in this time of uncertainty.”

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April 15, 2020

CONTACT: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]